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Cornwall Left with Just One Bingo Hall Following Club Closure

Cornwall Left with Just One Bingo Hall Following Club Closure

A recent announcement that a Cornish bingo club has been put up for sale has left the future of land-based bingo in the county in doubt. Until recently, the Capitol Bingo club in St Austell advertised itself as “St Austell and Cornwall’s premier bingo venue”, operating 7 days a week and offering players link games and in-house cash prizes.

More about the sale of the venue

While the club is currently continuing to operate from its premises on Alexandra Road, St Austell, a listing has recently been spotted on RightMove offering a new tenant the chance to purchase the site for a guide price of £2m.

The ad points out several key features of the venue such as over 12,500 square feet of retail space, a “vast bingo hall unit”, and “considerable development potential”. While it’s possible that the prospective buyer could continue using the club for bingo purposes, it’s unlikely given that many UK bingo halls have closed in recent years. Plus, the property listing mentions that the premises “would lend itself to both a mixed use and residential development (subject to planning permission”. So, it seems more likely that any new owner would wish to turn it into flats.

When will the bingo hall close?

So far, the owners of Capitol Bingo have yet to publicly comment on the recent sale notice.

The changing use of the venue

The building that is now home to Capitol Bingo (along with a parade of four shops) originally opened as a cinema in the 1920s. Since then, it’s been given several new leases of life, firstly as a theatre then a ballroom, and now a bingo hall.

Why should we be concerned about the potential closure?

While it’s obviously sad and concerning to see another bingo hall close its doors, if Capitol Bingo in St Austell is repurposed as a residential building/non-bingo-based business, the county of Cornwall will only have one bingo club remaining. The other bingo hall is in Camborne and is operated by Apollo Bingo which is 32 miles away from St Austell. Getting from one location to the other takes around 53 minutes by car or train and is unlikely to be a feasible or appealing option for members of the Camborne club.

In the south of Cornwall’s neighbour, Devon, there are Buzz Bingo and Mecca Bingo in Plymouth, but again, these are over an hour’s drive and a 90-minute train ride away from St Austell, and even further to get to from the more southern Cornish towns of Truro and Falmouth.

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